With too many brands powered with each one’s aggressive marketing strategies conquering the market, the hapless consumer is terribly confused in his selection of a new energy-efficient home appliance. If you are more concerned about your hard earned money, then the choice becomes a difficult task indeed. Ultimately, quite often, you end up buying the cheapest item available in the market.
The cost of owning a home appliance has three basic components viz, the initial purchase price, the cost of repairs & maintenance and the cost involved in operating it. To determine how much one will spend over the lifetime of the home appliance, one has to necessarily take cognizance of all these costs. The appliance with the lowest initial purchase price, or even the one with the best repair record, need not necessarily be the one that costs the least to operate.
The more energy efficient an appliance is, the less it costs to run, and the lower your utility bills. Using less energy is good for the environment too and you can reduce air pollution and help conserve natural resources. Even if two models look the same from the outside, less-obvious inside features can mean a big difference in your monthly utility bills. Most of the differences are on the inside – in the motors, compressors, pumps, valves, gaskets, and seals, or in electronic sensors that make appliances “smarter.”
Tips for shopping
1. Know where to shop.
Appliance outlets, electronics stores, and local retailers stock different brands and models of home appliances. Dealers also sell appliances through print catalogs and the Internet. Do a little bit of market research first before resorting to real shopping.
2. Select the size and style.
Take the measurement of the appliance to make sure that your new purchase will fit into the available space with you. Make sure that you have enough room to open the door or lid fully and enough clearance for ventilation. This will help you in narrowing down your choices as you settle on the best capacity and style.
3. Compare the performance of different brands and models.
Glance through the manufacturer’s product literature. Decide which features are important to you. Do not hesitate to ask questions about how the different models operate, their repair history, safety features, the extent of energy consumption etc. Manufacturers are expected to use standard test procedures to prove the energy use and efficiency of their products.
4. Estimate how much the appliance will cost to operate.
The more energy an appliance uses, the more it will cost to run. The difference in your monthly utility bill can be significant, especially when the life of the appliance runs over 10 years. Even if the purchase price is higher, you could save money over the long run by choosing a model that’s more energy efficient.
5. Ask about special energy efficiency offers.
Enquire with the salesperson about the availability of cash rebates, low-interest loans or other incentive programs for energy-efficient product purchases and explore the possibility of qualifying for such incentives.